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Spider-man

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You will need:
– 1.0 oz. Cherry Liqueur
– 1.0 oz. Raspberry Liqueur
– 2.0 oz. Tequila • 0.125 packet Pop Rocks

Mix cherry liqueur raspberry liqueur, and Tequila in average sized glass.
Add pop rocks.
Think about your life choices up to this point.

SEGA’s Official Sonic Chilidogs

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-Brown 1 lb ground beef
-Add ½ cup each of chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms (brown lightly)
-Add 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
-Add 8 oz barbecue sauce
-Simmer ½ hour
-Add 1 teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin, oregano
-Add 1 large can red kidney beans (drained)
-Simmer 1 hour
-Add hot dogs
-Cook 15 minutes in sauce
-Put on toasted roll
-Melted cheese (optional, but you know you’re going to add it)

Super Stength (Ant Man)

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You will need:
– Gin
– Vermouth
– Maraschino
– Orange Bitters
– Orange Oil

The Joker

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You will need:
– 3 oz. grape Jolly Rancher-infused vodka (see below)
– 0.25 oz. lime juice
– Seltzer

To make the infused vodka: Unwrap 10–12 purple Jolly Ranchers and put them in a seal-able jar or bottle. Add 1½ cups of vodka, seal, shake, and let sit overnight or until candy fully dissolves when you shake the bottle. Chill until ready to use.

Add 3 oz. infused vodka and lime juice to a Collins glass with ice, stir, and fill with seltzer. Garnish with lime slice.

Vesper

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You will need:
– 2pts Gin
– 1pt Vodka
– 1/2pt Lillet

Shake with ice
Garnish with Lemon Peel

Star Wars Candies/Lightsabers

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You will need:
– Bag(s) of Candy Melts (any flavor)
– Star Wars Jello Mold Kit
– Bag of large Pretzel Sticks

Pour candy melts into either cup or bag, put into microwave at 30sec intervals until melted.
For the candies, pour into molds, then place in freezer for approx 10min.
For the lightsabers, dip 3/4 of the pretzel stick into cup of candy melts, place on wax paper tray, decorate as desired, then place in freezer for 10min.

“Death Star” Cocktail drink

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You will need:
– 1oz Jagermeister
– 1oz Jack Daniel’s® Tennessee whiskey
– 1oz triple sec
– 2oz Coca-Cola®
– 1oz vodka
– 2oz sweet and sour mix

Mix and pour into tall glass filled with ice. Stir. Drink. WHOOOOOOOOOO!

‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ review

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When a power-hungry madman threatens to destroy the galaxy, these guys are the LAST people you’d call for protection. Yet, this ragtag group of mercenaries, thugs, bounty hunters, and assassins, prove to everyone that appearances can be deceiving. They are the Guardians of the Galaxy.

You may commence with the “Ooga Chaka Ooga Chaka”.  (more…)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Rebellion Review: Madoka x Eva

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Warning: mild spoilers ahead.

At the start of Puella Magi Madoka Magica ~Rebellion~, things seem…off. Why? Everything is perfect.

The five magical girls from the popular series – Madoka, Homura, Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko – are shown living a blissful life: dealing with a typical school life, going out to eat, and battling “nightmares”. The girls now call themselves the “Puella Magi Holy Quintet,” and have elaborate transformation sequences that wouldn’t find itself out of place in any sentai series.

It’s the perfect life for a magical girl…which is exactly why it’s wrong.

At the end of the series (as well as the first two movies, which were just a recap), Madoka takes it upon herself to be sacrificed in order to save all magical girls from their fate of becoming witches, essentially rewriting the laws of the universe and becoming a god. The only one who remembers Madoka is Homura, whose sole wish was for Madoka’s happiness. It seems like not only did those events not happen, but everyone survived, albeit with slightly altered memories.

Homura decides to investigate the true nature of the universe they are in. Without going into full spoilers, it is revealed that they are indeed in a trap, but by who and for what reason, will have to be discovered by viewers.

Like the TV series, the major themes in Rebellion tend to jump around at random. One moment, it’s about high school hopes and dreams, the next, it’s the end of the world and the dissolution between love and hate. It’s all very “End of Evangelion”-ish, both as a fascinating deconstruction of the familiar magical girl genre, as well as an observation of the consequences of pushing one’s will beyond the breaking point.

The new character in this film, Bebe, spends most of her time as a chibi version of the witch that beheaded Mami in the series. When she does finally transform into human form, she only says a few cryptic lines before transforming back, begging the question as to why she was needed in the first place. Though to be fair, Bebe does have some adorable scenes while in chibi form.

Madoka and company are nicely animated, especially during the battle between Homura and Mami. However, the “unique” art style from the series that portrayed the witches’ space is used heavily throughout Rebellion. While this does make sense from a story standpoint, it becomes visually over-stimulating at times.

As confusing as this movie can get, it does answer many questions and provides closure to the series, probably just not the closure fans were hoping for. Regardless of this, I highly recommend any Madoka fans to watch this film.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica ~Rebellion~ is currently screening at the Downtown Independent theater in Los Angeles, CA. Locations and showtimes can be found at www.madokamagicausa.com. Thanks to Erika and the rest of the ELEVEN ARTS crew for tickets to this event.

Disney’s Frozen is anything but

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I’ll admit, I initially was going to skip out on watching Disney’s latest CG princess film, Frozen. The trailers made it look almost like a variation of Dreamworks’ Ice Age movies. Then Disney released the following video online:

Ok Disney, THIS is how you market a movie. Case in point, in less than a few hours after watching this clip, I was headed to the local cineplex to watch Frozen. I even splurged for the 3D version, and I’m happy that I did.

Taking place in a Nordic-inspired area called Arrendale, Frozen focuses on two orphaned sisters who are tasked with running the kingdom. Elsa (Idina Menzel), who has the ability to create/control ice and snow, and Anna (Kristen Bell). When they were young, the two loved to play in the snow together. After an unfortunate accident, Elsa is forced to hide her powers from everyone, and subsequently shuts out Anna.

Years later, during her coronation, Elsa, stressed by trying to keep her powers hidden, and by Anna’s idiotic announcement of her engagement to a man she just met, loses control of her powers. She runs away to the mountains, leaving a deep snow storm in her wake. Anna decides to go after her sister, in order to convince Elsa to return. Along the way, she teams up with Kristof (Jonathan Groff), an ice salesman, and Olaf (Josh Gad), a snowman brought to life by Elsa’s powers.

There were many moments in Frozen that happily surprised me. Romantic fairy-tale tropes take a back seat to sisterly love. Standard Disney character archetypes are giving way to more realistic personalities, flaws and all. I was so ready to write off Olaf as a shtick to please the kiddies, but he had some genuinely funny moments, not to mention a great song where he describes his ideal summer day. As for Sven, Kristof’s reindeer buddy, Disney did the right thing by NOT making him talk. There even is some great tongue-in-cheek humor about this, with Kristof imitating full conversations between the two.

Hands down, the best scene in the film is the song “Let It Go,” sung by show-stopper Idina Menzel (see above video). Elsa transforms herself from exiled freak to a confident, powerful snow queen, all while creating a gorgeous and elaborate ice castle. Yes, there are many similarities between this and broadway musical Wicked’s “Defying Gravity,” but I am completely fine with that. Both are powerful scenes that will have people singing and talking about it for years to come.

The animation of this film is just stunning. Disney was able to create some incredible scenery, from the snow-capped mountains, to Elsa’s ice castle. The snow effects were the most realistic I’ve seen in a CG flick, thanks to the slew of new tools created for this film. The character models do seem to borrow heavily from a previous Disney film, Tangled, but they are modified enough to where it doesn’t detract from the experience.

The story seems to lose a bit of focus in the last third of the movie, with several choices that seemed forced in order to get characters in place for the final act, but the payoff is well worth it. (again, thank you, thank you, thank you, Disney, for not taking the standard romantic resolution that you’ve used ad nauseum for decades.)

Overall, Frozen is yet another memorable film, harking back to, but just falls shy of, the Disney renaissance days of Beauty and the Beast and the Little Mermaid. If Disney just marketed this film a little differently, I feel that the already-record-breaking box office numbers would be much higher.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I must go back to listening to the Frozen soundtrack, which the replay count has already hit double digits.

Fall 2013 Anime Season First Impressions

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This is a collection my first impressions of the fall 2013 season. There may be spoilers in these reviews, so fair warning. New reviews will be posted periodically. Please note that these are reviews of a series’ first episode, and are not intended to be a blanket judgement of a series as a whole. Ratings are 1(worst) to 5(best). If you feel differently about a series, or wish to point out something that I missed, please feel free to post in the comment section below. Enjoy!

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Is the PS Vita TV a good idea?

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During Sony’s press conference last night, a number of expected announcements were made, including the PS4 launch date in Japan (Feb 2014), and a multi-colored “slim” model of the PS Vita. One announcement, however, was definitely unexpected, and in some cases, confusing: The PS Vita TV.

This small device is designed to play Vita games on a TV set. In addition to a PS Vita card slot and a memory card slot (which allows the option to play downloaded PSOne and PSP games), the device will also be able to eventually Remote Play PS4 titles (which is admittedly cool, but not worth the price for a single feature). Other features include support for web browsing, email, and chat. Media streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus will be supported as well.

While the tech specs and playable options may look great on paper, is a device like this a good bet for Sony? I’m not entirely convinced that it is.

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